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Which kind of movie watcher are you? Do you want comfort when the outside world is difficult, or do strange times make you want to dive into even more unusual big-screen stories? If you're in the latter camp, we've got some recommendations that can take your movie nights into new places. (Don't worry; if you're looking for comfort, we've got that covered, too!)
From '80s classics to more recent overlooked gems, we've got a mini-horror movie marathon planned out that will keep your nights at home full of chills and hand-clutching moments. Here are six horror movies that can add some zing to your quarantine.
[Image Credit: TriStar Pictures]
While we eagerly await the release of the CANDYMAN sequel/revamp, co-written and produced by Jordan Peele and directed by the talented Nia DaCosta, it's a great time to go back to the original 1992 movie. Virginia Madsen is excellent as Helen Lyle, a misguided grad student who wants to write about the Candyman legend that was born in the Cabrini-Green housing projects in Chicago. Helen means well, but she's way out of her depth. When she discovers that tales of a killer — who can be summoned by saying his name five times in front of a mirror — are more than just legends, her entire life is torn apart from the inside out. While we're making recommendations, also check out Nia DaCosta's movie LITTLE WOODS, which did not get enough love upon its release in 2018.
[Image Credit: Empire Pictures]
In honor of horror director Stuart Gordon, who recently passed, this is a great time to revisit his influential movies. Gordon made several adaptations of stories by author H.P. Lovecraft, including FROM BEYOND, DAGON, and CASTLE FREAK. All are terrific, weird and gory. The best-remembered movie by Gordon, however, is undoubtedly RE-ANIMATOR, in which radical med student Herbert West (a sublimely unhinged. Jeffrey Combs) discovers a way to return life to the body after death. The results aren't exactly friendly, and West's unorthodox methods turn sleepy Miskatonic University into a charnel house of over-the-top and gleefully messy terror.
[Image Credit: 20th Century Studios]
Karyn Kusama's teen horror story, scripted by Diablo Cody, is a smart, funny, nasty and sharp-tongued blitz through horror movie conventions. When Needy (Amanda Seyfried) finds that her best friend Jennifer (Megan Fox) has been possessed by a man-eating demon, their already-toxic relationship turns into total hell for Needy, and for nearly everyone around them. JENNIFER'S BODY is almost certainly not the movie you expect; it is bold and unique, and much more weird than almost anything else that came out around the same time in 2009. Also look for Kusama's return to horror, THE INVITATION, a small-scale horror-thriller about a man who takes his new girlfriend to a dinner party hosted by his ex-wife. Without spoiling the truth about the get-together, we can say that THE INVITATION veers into wild havoc before climaxing with a very cool ending that was replicated in Jordan Peele's US.
[Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]
It's the ultimate self-isolation horror movie! Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of the novel by Stephen King likely needs no introduction, but we'll do one anyway. Jack Nicholson, Shelly Duvall, and Danny Lloyd star as Jack, Wendy, and Danny Torrance, who take up residence in the seemingly empty Overlook Hotel for the winter, with Jack working as a caretaker. The hotel is not quite empty, however, as the ghosts of past debauchery and violence haunt the rooms and hallways. These spirits amplify Jack Torrance's own personal problems, twisting him into a demonic patriarch and leaving Danny and Wendy to fight for their lives — and sanity. As a bonus, check out last year's DOCTOR SLEEP, which does far more than return to the Overlook Hotel; it depicts the long-reaching traumatic effects on Danny, now played by Ewan McGregor. Look for the longer Director's Cut, which gives the characters and story extra room to breathe.
[Image Credit: MGM]
In 1984 Los Angeles, two valley girls, 18-year old Reggie (Catherine Mary Stewart) and 16-year old Sam (Kelli Maroney) wake up to find that almost everyone in the city has been turned into a small pile of pink dust. A passing comet all but obliterated Earth's human population, and many of the survivors are not exactly friendly. Some have been left as cannibalistic mutant zombies. And so Reggie and Sam begin an odyssey of survival and self-discovery across southern California. If they can just escape all the zombies and weirdos, they might manage to save the planet.
Is it a comic book movie or a horror movie? Both, perhaps? This Francis Lawrence-directed adaptation of the iconic horror comic book character John Constantine is low-key one of the best DC Comics movies, and it came out in 2005, years before the current superhero movie boom. Keanu Reeves stars, and while he may not seem like the obvious choice to play Constantine, his stoic and laconic energy, which can swerve into intense focus, is perfect for this incarnation of the character. The anti-hero is a magic-savvy detective with one foot in the supernatural world who is pulled into a strange battle between Heaven and Hell. With Rachel Weisz as a woman caught between two worlds and a supporting cast that includes Tilda Swinton as the Archangel Gabriel, CONSTANTINE is wickedly fun pop-horror noir.
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